Theemuge: Design VS Money


Theemuge served as the official residence for the former President of the Maldives, Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in the last 10 years of his 30 year presidency that ended in 2008. In January 2009, the new administration declared that Theemuge will no longer serve as the Presidential Palace due to the extremely high maintenance costs it incurs. Theemuge was designed by a Malaysian architect and named after the house of some of the first Muslim rulers of the Maldives from the late Lunar Dynasty (1141 to 1388).

Recently, Theemuge was officially opened for 2 days and gave ordinary Maldivians an opportunity to see the multi-million dollar Palace for the very first time. When the news came out everyone was really excited and eager to see the Palace, especially its gold-plated toilets. As for me, I got the chance to shoot some photos of the place for an online newspaper.

I am very much interested in architecture and have visited many places, but I must say I didn’t like the place. I don’t think these Malaysian designers did too well. The place just had a few chandliers, carpet, woodwork, marble flooring, gold-plated toilet fittings and etc. I know very well that these are damn expensive stuff, but it didn’t look so nice to me. The only thing that looked cool at the place was the daylight clock and the glass dome.

I have been aware of a large telescope dome in the Palace premises ontop of the building near to the local market. It was the first thing that had come to my mind and I really want to see it, but unfortunately they didn’t show it to us…

Enjoy some of the images.


5 Replies to “Theemuge: Design VS Money”

  1. yeah, i also think so. nothing like what i expected. but ive always had a feeling it was more about spending…i heard from an architect who saw these earlier that the guy had more than five layers of curtain. and that he changed some marbles and granites after it was laid down..

    anyway, i think that telescope dome will be a beauty.he was more in to those stuff.maybe a lost soul of an egyptian kaheenu escaped from a pyramid and entered his body.hehe. probably the spending would have been more about feng shui and less about aesthetic beauty. actually he shouldnt have any say in the designing of the building.its not his place. it must have been made to represent our culture more than anything.

  2. “especially its gold-plated toilets” Where is it? Did Maumoon ship it to Egypt? LOL

  3. Did you see the Gold-plated toilets? Where is it? Got pics?

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